Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Hudson River Rafting and its owner, Patrick Cunningham, a few weeks after one of its clients drowned in the Indian River. He accuses the company of running unsafe whitewater excursions, sometimes sending customers on trips without licensed guides or with no guides at all. Click here to read the account of one unhappy customer.
“This company has operated illegally, claimed to provide licensed rafting guides, and said that every precaution would be taken to ensure the safety of rafters. There was a pattern of practices indicating it did none of that, resulting in the recent tragic death of a whitewater rafter. As a result of today’s order, this company is no longer operating,” Schneiderman said in a written statement issued after today’s ruling.
The attorney general is seeking to shut down Hudson River Rafting permanently.
Justice Richard Giardino issued the temporary restraining order after a short hearing this morning in Fulton County. He scheduled a hearing on the lawsuit for November 8.
For now, the temporary order has little effect since the rafting season is over. The question is whether Hudson River Rafting will be able to operate next year. Cunningham’s attorney says the company does intend to reopen.
Tamara Blake, 53, of Columbus, Ohio, died after she and her guide, Rory Fay, were ejected from their raft on the Indian River on the morning of September 27. State Police say Fay was drunk. He has been charged with criminally negligent homicide. Click here for details.
Meanwhile, Hamilton County District Attorney Marsha Purdue is seeking to reinstate reckless-endangerment charges against Cunningham that date back to 2010. In that case, Cunningham was accused of sending clients on whitewater trips without proper supervision. Click here for details.
Photo by Carl Heilman II: the Hudson River Gorge.